Quincy Taps Volicon for Loudness Monitoring

Information presented via the Volicon Observer’s user interface

QUINCY, ILL.—Volicon’s Observer video monitoring logging system has been part of broadcast operations at Quincy Newspapers Inc. since 2007 when we installed our first systems to provide spot and content verification at several of our television stations. It provides round-the-clock recording and monitoring of all off-air content, and has been instrumental in our efforts to maintain quality of service and compliance.

Since our implementation, we’ve watched as Volicon continued enriching the Observer system with new features and capabilities, and in 2012, we upgraded and extended the deployment of Observer systems across all 12 of our stations.

Today we use Observer to record the entire digital transport stream for each broadcast channel. If issues arise, our staff can locate the suspect content and quickly export clips for analysis, as well as for compliance and verification if necessary. Even more valuable is the ability to use Observer-recorded HD content throughout our operations. It’s really revolutionized the way we work.

Anyone within the company can use the system to ensure that a spot aired and aired correctly. When breaking news occurs, we pull clips from logged content for proof of performance promotion spots. We also rely on the Volicon for program review and talent coaching. I’m able to use the system to view one or more of our stations and subchannels all at once. For example, I can watch all of our NBC or CW stations side by side. This flexibility in monitoring helps a great deal in troubleshooting across the station group.


The Observer also adds a unique time element to monitoring operations, and this ability to display critical measurements over time is what makes the system’s loudness monitoring capabilities so powerful. The CALM Act focuses on average loudness over time, and the Observer captures and displays that very data in a logical and easy-to- understand manner.

The Volicon system provides momentary, short-term, and integrated measurements, with adjustable short-form (10, 15, 30, or 60 seconds) and long-form (days) time frames that make it easy to compare an ad’s loudness with surrounding content. Should the need arise, we can respond quickly to loudness complaints with an A/V affidavit incorporating audio and video overlaid with frame-accurate loudness measurements.

The integration of loudness capability into our existing monitoring platform simplifies the overall monitoring workflow and eliminates the need for external loudness monitoring systems. The instantaneous data provided by a standalone system would be almost meaningless when compared with the rich combination of audio, video, and loudness data—captured over time—supplied by the Volicon Observer. It lets us to inspect the data, identify a loudness peak and determine when it occurred, and then view the content itself to get a more complete picture of the viewer’s experience. This loudness monitoring feature is just one of many tools and capabilities within the Observer system that helps our stations maintain and verify consistent broadcast quality while providing better support for our advertisers.

Brady Dreasler is the corporate director of engineering for the Quincy Newspapers group of stations. He may be contacted atbdreasler@quincyinc.com.

For additional information, contact Volicon at 781-221-7400 or visitwww.volicon.com.